Thank you for highlighting this subject under your letters of
Sept 15, 2014 written by Khan Faraz. The writer has correctly drawn
our attention to the dangers if we continue to neglect the silt
piling up in the Warsak Dam.
What I would like to add to this is that unless we get to the root
cause of this silting that is taking place we will not benefit from
replacing the dam's machinery or even making a new dam. At least
not in the long term.
The largest tributary of the Kabul river is our Chitral river. It
is we who are sending down the silt to the Warsak dam. How and why?
Through the ruthless deforestation that has been taking place in
our district un-hindered since the past thirty years and with no
respite in sight. Courtesy the politicians we have been voting in
to line their own pockets.
Large areas of of the most beautiful Deodar pine ( declared as the
National Tree of Pakistan) which were guarding our mountain slopes
have been mercilessly cut down leaving the scree and gravel to
slide down into the river below. The torrents of the river don't
like these objects obstructing its course of travel and soon start
to crush and send it down as silt which eventually lands up in the
intakes of Warsak Dam to fill up its reservoir and damage the
revolving blades of its huge turbines.
These man made barren slopes have been destroying our homes and
damaging our roads with recurring land slides every year, without
fail, even with a small amount of rain. But our voices have not
even penetrated the walls our own thana's and kutcheries.
To stop the silt from piling up in the Warsak Dam we have to stop
this deforestation. And to stop the deforestation the government
has to consciously post the right Deputy Commissioners, District
Police officers and District Forest Officers to Chitral. They in
turn will be able to stop the greedy politicians who are behind the
contractors who are cutting down these trees in the name of
"windfalls" , "snowfalls" and "rainfalls". These three words need
to be erased from the forest rules at least for the next thirty
years because all of the few young trees which remain standing on
our slopes can easily withstand these natural phenomenon's which
are being wrongly used to destroy our forests, our land, our
economy and even the lives of our people.